Baptiste Morin // Photo credits: Nicolas Guyonnet / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 06:13, 07 December 2023

Europe 1 reveals, this Thursday, December 6, exclusively a study by the Banque de France. It confirms that the French are the European champions of bank cards and shows that new means of payment – contactless and telephone payment – are making significant progress. The French are attached to cash, but they are increasingly adept at new payment methods.

Cash use is resilient, but it has been declining for the past five years. In 2012, they were used to pay one in three expenses, but today it is only one in five. It is the bank card that has become more important, it is used in one out of two payments (in value).

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Germans and Italians pay much less by card

The French are the champions of Europe. On the continent, one in four credit card payments is made in France. Our German neighbours, for example, use it less, the Italians much less. Over time, the bank card has become a staple of everyday purchases as well as bakeries.

"A few years ago, it was considered that in this type of business, payments were made almost exclusively with coins or notes," says Christophe Baud-Berthier, director of fiduciary activities at the Banque de France, "today, a very large part of payments is made by card." It should also be noted that the French have abandoned the cheque. It now accounts for only 3% of payments compared to more than 25% in 2006, but they remain the biggest users of this payment method in Europe.

Contactless and payment by phone are on the rise

In this study revealed by Europe 1, the Banque de France also notes that contactless payment has become a new daily habit. The French pay nearly 20% of their expenses without dialing their code. It was only 2% in 2017. This usage has increased almost tenfold in just six years. This is a legacy of the health crisis, but also the effect of changing regulations.

"The cap on contactless use has been raised twice. Since the appearance of this means of payment in 2012, the ceiling has increased from 20 to 30 euros in 2017, then to 50 euros in 2020," says Alexandre Stervinou, director of studies and supervision of payments at the Banque de France. At the same time, payment by phone is also emerging. Since 2020, its use has almost tripled.